By KBB.com Editors
One year after a brush with near-bankruptcy and with a hefty styling infusion care of Italian car maker Fiat, Dodge has once again avoided being swept into the junkyard of history. One of the most deserving recipients of Dodge's design rebirth is the Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan, a car that had once been roundly criticized for its dull interiors, mediocre drivetrain and low resale value. But, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a totally different animal, with an aggressive new exterior, a stunningly modern interior and one of the best drivetrain and suspension setups in its class. If ever there was a case of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is it.
If you're brain says "Charger" but your wallet says "used car," the 2011 Dodge Avenger may be your knight in shining armor. Its bold styling, great handling and affordable price will satisfy both your enthusiast and economical sides.
If you're looking for subtle but upscale styling, cutting-edge refinement and best-in-class resale value, you might be happier with the VW Jetta or Hyundai Sonata.
The 2011 Dodge Avenger receives a complete makeover, with new front and rear styling, new wheels, a completely new interior, new suspension and steering and an available 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Dodge Avenger is a truly great driver's car. A thorough reworking of the car's suspension, brakes and steering systems has netted a mid-size sedan that...– if it wasn't for the big Dodge ram head staring up from the steering wheel's center – you would swear was built by VW or Nissan. Dodge has managed to blend a soft comfortable ride with a responsive chassis that can carve up twisting mountain roads as easily as it floats over long freeway stretches. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 puts the muscle behind the 2011 Dodge Avenger's moves, delivering impressive power, silky-smooth operation and pretty decent fuel economy. Connecting wheels to engine is Dodge's new six-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. While it's fun to shift your own gears, the AutoStick is not as quick or precise as some newer dual-clutch transmissions. But, as the automatic does an excellent job of finding and holding the correct gear, we don't think you'll miss the manual-shift feature in the long run.
Uconnect Infotainment System
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading via a high-speed USB port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity and more.
3.6-liter Pentastar V6
Quite possibly one of the best V6 engines every produced, the new Pentastar V6 pulls like a V8, purrs like a Lexus and returns impressive fuel economy.
The most noticeable change attributed to the 2011 Dodge Avenger is its interior. Gone are the primer-gray tones and hard plastic surfaces, replaced by a more organic dash design, soft-touch materials on the armrests, console and dash and a new color pallet that includes rich ebony, warm sand and even a two-tone red-on-black theme. Dodge has used extensive sound deadening materials to help quiet the Avenger's cabin while simultaneously giving it some very loud audio options, including a six-speaker Boston Acoustics upgrade and a navigation radio with a 30-gigabyte hard drive capable of storing up to 4,250 songs.Exterior
Although its profile is still familiar, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a far better looking car than the model it replaces. A new front crosshair grille and aggressive lower air intake are complimented by projector-beam fog lamps and honeycomb-textured grille inserts. Around back, the Avenger receives a new rear valence and larger tail lamps with a "ring of fire" LED light pattern. The Avenger's overall fit and finish are also noticeably improved, with better fitting plastic pieces, tighter tolerances between body panels and much more lustrous paint choices. Rounding out the 2011 Dodge Avenger's new look is a set of aggressive wheel choices: 17-inch on Express and Mainstreet trims and 18-inch alloy on LUX and Heat models.
A 2011 Dodge Avenger Express features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, 60/40 rear seat with pass-through and folding armrest and a security alarm. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic traction and stability control and front, front-seat side-mounted and side-curtain airbags.
The highlight of the 2011 Dodge Avenger's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a 6.5-inch touch screen CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio with 30-gigabyte hard drive, Voice Command and USB interface, Sirius Satellite Radio, Boston Acoustics speaker package, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity with streaming audio, eight-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, auto on/off headlamps, heated front seats, leather seats, remote start, 18-inch wheels and a power moonroof.
The Avenger's base 2.4-liter "world gas engine" has been given numerous upgrades to help it perform better and with less noise, vibration and harshness. Producing 173 horsepower, the 2.4-liter is not the most powerful in its class, but at least it can now keep up with the pack leaders. The real star of the Avenger line up is the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces an impressive 283 horsepower yet returns highway fuel economy figures around 30 mpg. The 3.6-liter engine is also E85-compatible.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (4-speed auto), 20/31 (6-speed auto)
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 (gas), 14/21 (E85)
By Jenni on Monday, October 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "it's a car"
Cons: "Pretty much everything."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The car was a step up, or so I thought. It's tiny on the inside. Like, TINY. My pal's Fiat is roomier. Stiff handling. Weird tire size that makes replacing tires a pain in the butt, not to mention expensive. Gas mileage? Awful. Randomly won't start. Then, it will fire off like everything is okay. The battery is next to impossible to get to. You have to take the drivers side tire off, take the wheel well off and then commence to unbolting. The body is super flimsy. I hit a raccoon and busted my entire grill. Really ridiculous. What sucked me in was the lifetime powertrain warranty. Now I want to kick myself. I should have stuck with my optima. Now I'm stuck in this thing for years."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By tandb952 on Saturday, October 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Car drives very smooth and gets great MPG. Pick up is a little slow but thats the price you pay for the MPG."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By moparDave on Sunday, October 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks differnt then you everyday car, love the Nav"
Cons: "Leather a little cheap"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have had my Avenger R/T for 66 months and have enjoyed it very much. Not your every day looking car, great size for my needs, and the best part is I have a life time warrenty. I like this car so much I got my kids a 2013 model and they just love it too. I have even drag raced my car at the Las Vegas RaceWay at the Morpar at the strip, and was shocked at how fast it is."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Faith on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love the color, fun to drive"
Cons: "none yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new. Its a 2014 with a V6, test drove the 4 cylinder and found it too sluggish. Gas mileage is good. Blind spots are entertaining, but not unexpected. I have a son who is 6'1" and he rides comfortably with lots of leg room, even in the back. Have recommended Avenger to family and friends!"
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Unhappy Owner on Friday, September 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,300overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Have had the car for 4 years. Not satisfied. Brakes have squeeked the entire 4 years. Bad blind spot on the right of the car. There have been times the radio will just not play or the car will not start. Truly dissatisfied with product."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By DJS on Thursday, September 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "very good value for the money, great stereo system"
Cons: "Not as easy handling as some cars."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had my Avenger since 2008. I am the first owner of the car and I am very pleased with it's performance. After a few kinks in the first two years( recalls) the overall performance of the vehicle has been very good. The value has also been very good. I am quite pleased with the car and I would buy another Avenger. My car has 117,000 miles on it and has not had any mechanical problems, except to replace the master cylinder within the warranty period. Otherwise I have not had any extra repairs on the vehicle at all, just regular maintenance. It has performed very well,has plenty of power for the normal driver, and gets pretty good gas mileage, too. Overall I am very pleased with the car's performance."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful